Editor’s note. Following are Speaker Paul Ryan’s remarks, as prepared for delivery yesterday on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, which passed 237-189. The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act is also referred to as “Micah’s Law.”
Life is precious. We are reminded of this in ways wonderful and in ways difficult.
Today I rise in support of life. In support of Micah’s law.
I rise in recognition that advancements in technology today both reveal more about the stages of life, as well as show us promise for preserving it.
As unpleasant as it may be, technology reveals something to us about suffering. It now shows us that the unborn can feel pain inside the womb.
The science is in. The science is real. At 20 weeks old, ultrasound images reveal that unborn babies respond to unwanted stimuli—pain—the same exact way adults do: They recoil. They contract.
In cases of abortion, these unborn babies feel pain, they suffer.
That is hard to hear. It is very hard for me to say.
But now that we are seeing scientific proof that these unborn babies are in pain, what will we do? We cannot claim ignorance. Their pain is no longer invisible to us. And we cannot as a society—with good and upright conscience—ignore it.
The Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, sponsored by our colleague Trent Franks, protects unborn babies by restricting abortions to 20 weeks and after fertilization occurs—the point at which science has proven an unborn baby can feel pain.
It is easy to turn a blind eye to the pain of others. For a moment, it can feel like ignoring it means that it does not exist.
But our hearts and minds will always remind us: We cannot stop the pain of the world by turning away from it. And we must not turn away from the pain of the most vulnerable among us—the ones who have nowhere to run to.
Our humanity shines brightest when we stand up for those who are suffering, when we protect people from pain.
So I ask my colleagues, and I implore my fellow Americans: Let us be moved by the suffering, and let also us be inspired by life.